A woman has pleaded guilty to parental neglect resulting in the death of her three-year-old daughter after she left the toddler alone at home for a week in 2020 while she went to spend time with her boyfriend.

In the opening session of her trial at the Tokyo District Court on Thursday, Jan. 27, Saki Kakehashi admitted that she abandoned her three-year-old daughter Noa, supplied with only tea and sweets, at their apartment in Ota Ward, Japan in June 2020, to go to Kagoshima, Japan for one week to spend time with her then-boyfriend, Japan Today reported.

Kagoshima Prefecture on Kyushu island is at the country's southernmost tip, about 600 miles away from Ota Ward and an almost two-hour flight away from Tokyo.

When Kakehashi reportedly returned from her trip on June 13, 2020, she found Noa unconscious and not breathing after being left to her own devices. The mother immediately called the emergency services to seek assistance for the unresponsive toddler.

After medical personnel arrived at the residence, they transported the girl to a hospital where she was confirmed dead. The doctors revealed that Noa's stomach was almost completely empty and that she had died from dehydration and hunger.

Doctors also found a severe rash on Noa's buttocks as her diaper had seemingly been left unchanged for a long time.

According to the prosecutors, just before she called 119, Kakehashi allegedly applied ointment to the rash and changed Noa into a fresh pair of diapers to hide the fact that the child had been left alone for a week.

Kakehashi reportedly barricaded Noa inside the living room with a sofa blocking off the entrance to the kitchen before leaving the apartment to visit her boyfriend. However, Kakehashi said that she did this to prevent Noa from harming herself with knives or other sharp kitchen items, Tokyo Reporter reported.

After later being questioned by the authorities, Kakehashi confessed that she abandoned her child because she had become exhausted from raising Noa.

“I wanted to relax,” she allegedly related.

“I turned on the air conditioner,” she reportedly said. “I also left [her] with tea and food. My intention was to return quickly.”

The officers found that Noa and Kakehashi had been living alone at their apartment in Ota Ward after Kakehashi's divorce in 2016. It also came to light that Noa had not attended her daycare center for more than a year before her death.

Prosecutors added that Kakehashi would often leave Noa at home alone while she went to bars and pachinko parlors with friends.

She had also abandoned Noa in her apartment and visited her boyfriend in Kagoshima for three days in May 2020.

Two women have been charged with child abuse after they were caught on camera slamming around a 3-year-old boy at a church daycare in Georgia. This is a representational image. Pixabay

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